IJMC The Bronze Rat

                       IJMC - The Bronze Rat

It's well past my bedtime tonight so I'll be brief. I want one too.  -dave

A tourist wanders into a back-alley antique shop in San Francisco's 
Chinatown.   Picking through the objects on display he discovers a 
detailed, life-sized bronze sculpture of a rat.   The sculpture is so 
interesting and unique that he picks it up and asks the shop owner what 
it costs.

"Twelve dollars for the rat, Sir," says the shop owner, "and a thousand 
dollars more for the story behind it."

"You can keep the story, old man," he replies, "but I'll take the rat." 
The transaction complete, the tourist leaves the store with the bronze rat 
under his arm.   As he crosses the street in front of the store, two live 
rats emerge from a sewer drain and fall into step behind him. Nervously 
looking over his shoulder, he begins to walk faster, but every time he 
passes another sewer drain, more rats come out and follow him.   By the time 
he's walked two blocks, at least a hundred rats are at his heels, and people 
begin to point and shout.   He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a 
trot as multitudes of rats swarm from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and 
abandoned cars.   Rats by the thousands are at his heels, and as he sees the 
waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panics and starts to run full tilt.

No matter how fast he runs, the rats keep up, squealing hideously, now 
not just thousands but millions, so that by the time he comes rushing up 
to the water's edge a trail of rats twelve city blocks long is behind 
him.   Making a mighty leap, he jumps up onto a light post, grasping it 
with one arm while he hurls the bronze rat into San Francisco Bay with 
the other, as far as he can heave it.   Pulling his legs up and clinging 
to the light post, he watches in amazement as the seething tide of rats 
surges over the breakwater into the sea, where they drown.

Shaken and mumbling, he makes his way back to the antique shop. 

"Ah, so you've come back for the rest of the story," says the owner. 

"No," says the tourist, "I was wondering if you have a bronze lawyer."

IJMC June 1996 Archives